Annulment in North Carolina

Divorce Papers » Annulment in North Carolina

The annulment in North Carolina is a complex process and it is not easy to obtain an annulment unless you fulfill the criteria and prove the grounds on which you are seeking the annulment. The statute of NC recognizes two types of marriages. These are as follows:

  • Voidable Marriage - A voidable marriage is a marriage considered valid until it is nullified by a proper court procedure.

  • Void Marriage - A void marriage is never valid right from its inception as it does not fulfill certain criteria required for a marriage to be considered as void. It is known as 'ab initio' which means invalid right from inception.

Grounds for the Annulment of a Voidable Marriage:

  • Incestuous Relationship - If the couple has a close half or full blood relation with each other such as parent, grandparent, sibling, cousin, first cousins, double cousins or any relation that might be considered as being too close to get married can be annulled on the grounds of incest. A marriage complete with consanguinity and affinity is considered illegal in the USA and thus can be nullified easily.

  • Underage Marriage - If either of the spouse was under 16 years of age at the time of marriage, unless they were cohabiting as a married couple for at least a year; such marriages are voidable. The legal age to get married in the state of NC is 16 and any marriage conducted when one of the spouse is under 16 is considered illegal, hence voidable.

  • Impotency - If the couple haven't been able to consummate the marriage due to the impotency of one of the partners or sterility or hidden sexual orientation, it is considered as impotency and the marriage is considered as voidable and nullified on the same ground.

  • Immaturity - If neither of the parties are mature enough to understand the commitment they are getting into by entering the bond of marriage, it is a firm ground for annulment regardless of their age. Age does not define maturity levels of an individual and hence it is widely used grounds for the annulment in NC.

  • False Pretense - If the marriage is entered under reasons such as pregnancy and the couple separates in 45 days and the baby does not arrive within ten months, this is considered as a false pretense to get the perks out of the married life without respecting it as an institution.

This type of marriages do need a court order declaring them as invalid and voidable, thus nullified.

Grounds for the Annulment of a Void Marriage:

There is a single ground for the annulment of a void marriage in North Carolina; bigamous marriage. If a person knowingly enters the current wedlock in spite of having a surviving spouse from whom neither the divorce nor the legal separation is processed, the marriage is considered void and is annulled immediately.

This type of marriage does not need a court order declaring the annulment of the marriage as it was invalid from the beginning.

With an annulment, you declare that your marriage was null and void and thus make it non-existent in the eyes of the law. It is necessary to hire a professional attorney for filing for an annulment as the divorce attorneys are not adept to the annulment laws; they being the experts in the field of divorce. Besides, you will need a perfect guidance according to your situation as to whether you should file for an annulment, the grounds that should be cited, the grounds that should not be cited and all the legal jargon that layman doesn't understand.

Annulment cannot be filed in the following situations:

  • Unlike other states, the duration of your marriage is not a relevant factor while filing for an annulment in the state of North Carolina.
  • If you want to file for an annulment after the death of your spouse for some religious obligations, it is not possible to do so as the spouse is deceased.
  • If the spouse haven't had sexual relations in the course of their marriage, it cannot be considered as the grounds for the annulment unless factors such as impotency are proved in front of the court.

Thus, hire a professional attorney who specializes in the cases of annulments, explain your situation to him / her and seek professional advice. It is advisable not to have any secrets and reservations from your attorney. Your personal information always remains confidential and they cannot disclose it to anybody as a part of ethics. However, the process of annulment is lengthy and time-consuming. After you file the petition, the court takes its time to gather the evidence and summon the respondent to the court for the hearing necessary.

If the respondent accepts the allegations, the process becomes easier; however, if he / she decides to defend the case, it becomes tiring and exhausting.

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